Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Spring Cleaning Part 2

spring-cleaning-2
When and How to Eat While Cleansing Everyone may need to eat (or not eat, if you are doing a juice fast) a bit differently depending on your constitution during a cleanse.  However, there are some general guidelines that I can offer based on what I’ve read about cleansing or experimented with on myself, but always listen to your own body’s needs.  Remember, these are not rules, but possible guidelines.

Before noon it is best to have only millet, fruit, fresh juice, protein powder if you need it based on your nutritional type (see Dr. Mercola’s free test page at http://products.mercola.com/nutritional-typing/), herbal tea and Master Cleanser (recipe listed at end of article) in order to give your digestive system a well-deserved rest.

Eat lunch preferably between 12 and1 pm and dinner around 6 pm.  Finish dinner at least 3 hours before bed.  After 8 pm, eat only fruit or fresh juice.  Do not eat for at least one hour before lying down for bed.  Don’t drink lots of water with meals; instead drink water between meals so as not to dilute your digestive Agni or fire. Proper food combining can assist in the detoxification process.  A simple rule of thumb is to eat fruit separately from other foods (i.e. vegetables and grains).  Fruit mixed with other types of food can lead to poor digestion and fermentation in the intestines.  Don’€™t eat fruit until at least one hour after eating vegetables and grains and don’€™t eat a meal until at least 15 minutes after a small portion of fruit.  Larger meals and portions require more time.

However, fruits and vegetables may be combined in fresh juice. Aim for a balance between cooked food and raw food.  While on a cleanse, 50% minimum raw is the goal.  This balance helps aid in complete digestion and assimilation.  You may opt to eat completely raw while cleansing, which for my own body, gives me the best results.  Also, you can’€™t chew enough.  Some enzymes necessary for complete digestion (such as for some carbs) are not in your stomach, but in your mouth.  Many digestive problems start because food is not properly mixed with saliva.

Eat in a relaxed peaceful environment and remember to breathe fully between each mouthful.  Never eat while you are upset as it will diminish your ability to digest the food properly. If possible, drink one quart of freshly juiced veggies and/or fruit per day.  You can make your quart of juice in the morning, but ideally make it fresh three times per day and drink within 20 minutes of juicing.  Otherwise, you can purchase fresh juice at a health food store or juice bar.

It is also very important to stay hydrated while cleansing.  To determine the appropriate amount of water, take your body weight and divide by two.  This number equals the number of ounces of water that is recommended per day.  For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you want to drink 60 ounces or about two quarts of water per day.  Again, this is also a general recommendation, but listen to your own body’s needs.

How to Prepare Your Food:

Don’€™t cook your vegetables with oil, unless it’€™s coconut oil as it has a very high smoke point.  Ayurveda tells us that veggies are to be eaten raw, steamed, baked, pressure cooked, or water sauteed.  Ayurveda also recommends that we sautee with water and THEN, when serving, add oil to taste if you desire.

Don’€™t cook your food in a microwave.  It renders food very indigestible and the amino acids undergo isomeric changes (morphing in shape) that can transform them into toxic molecules.

Clean fruits and veggies well to remove dirt, pesticides, and unwanted microbes.  For non-organic food especially, try Healthy Harvest Fruit and Vegetable Rinse or Dr. Bronners castile soap.  Never cook with any kind of aluminum as it is easily leached into food during heating.

Consider adopting a plant-based or raw diet during the course of your cleanse.  You will derive maximum cleansing benefit, and once the cleanse is finished you will continue to incorporate the healthy eating habits that you have established during your detox regimen without much effort.  This is the beauty of establishing good habits.  Bonus!

General Detoxification Tips:

The following suggestions will assist in the detoxification process but are also recommended as part of a regular health regimen.  Do yoga poses that replenish the body and assist in detoxification.  For example, try Bridge Pose, Knees to Chest Pose, Lying Down Revolved Abdomen Pose, Reclining Bound Angle Pose, Legs up the Wall Pose, and Savasana.

Drink lemon water (juice from half a lemon in 8 ounces of water) with up to half of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper upon waking.  This helps to open up the circulatory system and alkalinize body fluids.

Fast one to three days each month on freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, pure water, and herbal teas.  Fasting days allow any toxins to be released before they are stored and cause damage.

One of the best things you can do for your health is to sweat daily.  For example, yoga, walking, dancing, swimming, hooping and cycling are fun to do.

Dry brush or otherwise exfoliate the skin for three minutes followed by a self oil massage (Abhyanga) before every shower or bath.  This assists in the removal of dead skin, stimulates the lymphatic system, and conditions your joints, skin, and tissues.

Laugh every day!  Laughter pulses the diaphragm muscle up and down, which stimulates lymphatic circulation around the lungs and stimulates cerebral spinal fluid flow. For Self-Love Self-love is the highest reason for cleansing your body.

Treat your body like the temple it is.  Prepare your meals with love and eat your food with awareness.  Rest when you are tired and exercise when you have energy.  While on any cleanse or fast, give yourself the time and space to fully experience what a simple change in diet and routine can do for your life.  You may like to set an intention for your cleanse.  It may help to make a list and pinpoint anything that blocks your free flow of energy and spirit. Take time out each day for reflection or meditation.  Twenty minutes of meditation can help you to reconnect with your spirit and your sense of what really matters.

As often as possible, immerse yourself in nature in order to connect to the Earth and its healing rhythms.  Take a walk in a park, a local hike, or simply sit on some steps during your lunch break and soak up the sun.  Journaling can also be helpful to unload any spiritual debris that might come up during the purification process.  Try to remove all thoughts that cleansing the body is an unwanted task or chore.  You are giving yourself the opportunity to allow your Spirit to rise, grow, and glow.  Travel through your cleansing experience with great intention and grace. Blessings to you on this wonderful awakening of your body, mind and spirit!

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